[Customer Spotlight]: A Peek into the Weekend Culture at Chubbies – the “Short-Shorts” Company

March 24, 2017

Company Culture

When it comes to company culture, there are few companies that do it as well – and with as much flair – as Chubbies, the SF-based “short-shorts” company.

Known for their outrageously hilarious videos and loud shorts, Chubbies exudes fun not only through their clothes, but through their mission statement and culture.

Here are a few of their values that we love:

  • We believe in the weekend
  • We believe that “short shorts” is a redundancy
  • We believe in aloha shirts
  • We believe in comfort
  • And our all-time favorite: We believe in the right your quads have to a life of freedom and sunshine

As you can see, culture plays a huge role in Chubbies’ identity, and ultimately their success. And that’s why it’s so important for Dave Wardell, Chubbies’ VP of Finance and Operations, to be able to focus his efforts on people operations and culture.

Focusing on Culture

While Dave oversees finance, accounting, risk management, HR and legal, he says that the riskiest and most concerning aspect of his job is not what most people may think.

“When it comes to what’s critical and important for the company, compliance may come to mind for people because of the legalities and regulations to operating a business,” says Dave. “But when I think about where our biggest risk is, it’s the people we hire.”

Dave explains that it’s critical for them to hire people who are not only right for the role, but are also a cultural fit for the company. That’s also why headcount planning and analysis is a top priority for him, and something he wishes he had more time for.

“Headcount planning and how we can get the right people in the right job is probably the most interesting part of my job, and it also has the most impact on the business.”

But the job doesn’t end there. Once he gets the right person through the door, that’s when the harder work happens: people management. Dave explains that hiring them is just the first step. Keeping them happy and retaining them is the critical part.

So, what are a few ways Chubbies keeps their employees happy? For starters, they let everyone wear short shorts in the office. And while that would be enough to put a smile on the face of most people, Chubbies is also committed to maintaining a great culture.

“We have a culture committee. We take culture really seriously,” says Dave. “And it’s not just about having a happy hour every week. It’s more about how we can get people from different teams to communicate, become friends, and establish relationships.”

In focusing on having fun via team communication, Dave explains that having a culture committee is a company-wide effort.

“The culture committee is cross functional, and it’s focus is to think of creative ways for our teams to bond and do fun, weird things, like taking an afternoon off for a bocce ball tournament at the park – really simple stuff. We’re not lavish spenders. It’s pretty easy to make stuff fun – so long as you have the right people.”

Automating The Hard Stuff

Luckily for Dave, there are some aspects of his role that he’s able to automate with HR software. One process in particular that he’s happy to get assistance with is the hiring process.

“The hiring and onboarding flow in Zenefits is really helpful for us,” Dave says. “We have it set up where people hired in our stores, customer service teams, and manufacturing teams are able to do a big chunk, if not all, of their onboarding through Zenefits. I just have to go in and review. It’s a huge, huge time-saver for us.”

Dave also adds that being able to use Zenefits’ business intelligence reports is key.

“There’s a myriad of different reasons why we need to run headcount reports,” he explains. “We used to have to pull that manually, but having the information in Zenefits, we’re able to quickly spin it out for an insurance audit, 401k report, or headcount planning exercise. It’s also comfortable knowing that the information is up-to-date and reliable.”

Continuing to Grow their Business and Culture

With a total of 67 employees and a large social following, Chubbies is focused on continuing to grow their business, while maintaining the “weekend” culture.

And while Dave knows that he can’t automate everything, like culture, he’s determined to streamline his tasks in order to focus on the what really matters, people.


Raised by small business owners in Long Beach, California, Sarah loves creating meaningful content that truly helps people run their businesses successfully and efficiently. In addition to being a Content Marketing Manager at Zenefits, Sarah is a coffee addict, baked-good lover, and a LA Clippers fan.

Category: HR Tips & Trends, Zenefits, Culture, Entrepreneurship

You might also like